Description and Objectives
Shakespeare’s Problem Plays
In this course students will explore different interpretations of some of Shakespeare’s potentially controversial works, with a focus on Merchant of Venice, Taming of the Shrew, and Measure for Measure. Is Merchant anti-Semitic? Is Shrew misogynistic? Do Shakespeare’s words reveal more than our modern lens suggests? Or is more than one answer possible? Students will compare and contrast these plays with the works of Shakespeare’s contemporaries Christopher Marlowe and John Fletcher.
The Taming of the Shrew, The Merchant of Venice, The Tamer Tamed, The Jew of Malta, et al.
Attendance, daily reading and writing in and out of class, thorough interpretive note-taking, prompt and accurate mini-quiz completion at the beginning of class, enthusiasm, good citizenship.
Will be thoroughly familiar with assigned texts before class begins, will turn in writing assignments early so as to achieve the multiple redrafts likely required, will pass all mini-quizzes (given in the first three minutes of class), and will communicate promptly and regularly with the teacher.